Join the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) vice-chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, and members of the Student Wellness Service (SWS) for an afternoon of fitness fun as they lap around the UCT rugby field during the university’s first Run/Walk4Mental Health.
The event takes place on Sunday, 10 October, and coincides with Mental Health Awareness Month, which aims to destigmatise mental health disorders and increase public awareness on conditions like anxiety and depression, schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder and other development disorders, such as autism.
Dr Memory Muturiki, the director of SWS, said the initiative forms part of a series of events organised by SWS peer counsellors to support students’ mental health and well-being on campus. The afternoon programme will include a keynote address by Professor Phakeng, and a SWS psychiatrist Dr Mwanja Chundu will address participants on the importance of maintaining good mental health.
Dr Muturiki urged members of the campus community and ordinary members of the public to hop into their active wear and join the event.
“What a better way to encourage holistic health and wellness by using exercise as a tool. Running and walking are such great stress relievers, so it’s fitting to use it to raise awareness and shine a spotlight on mental health disorders,” she said.
“We encourage people to join – avid runners and walkers, as well as beginners. Everyone is welcome.”
Fun run and walk
The event will start at the rugby field entrance on upper campus at 15:50. Depending on participants’ fitness levels, Muturiki said they could either complete a 3 km or 6 km fun run or walk, which she explained would require that they make their way around the field four or eight times respectively.
At the finish line entrants will receive a medal of participation and an on-the-go healthy snack. In line with COVID-19 protocols, event organisers can only accommodate 250 runners and walkers on the day. This means that space is limited.
“We are very excited to be the hosts of this event and to play our part with raising some much-needed awareness on mental health disorders,” Muturiki said.
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